Rap icon Biz Markie is still alive, his manager has confirmed, after rumours of his death circulated on social media.
Per his manager Jenni Izumi, “the news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true”. The 57-year-old is “under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible”.
“Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike,” Izumi continued in a statement reported by Pitchfork. “At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Journalist and author Roland S. Martin further shared on Twitter that Markie was still alive, calling on people on Twitter not to spread misinformation. Markie’s wife, whom Martin said he had been on the phone with, “says this is hurtful to all of his family”, Martin wrote.
I am ON THE PHONE right now with @BizMarkie's wife at 1:14 am EST. He HAS NOT PASSED AWAY. So PLEASE STOP IT! She says this is hurtful to all of his family. Folks, I'm a JOURNALIST. I'm not gonna pass on BS. I'll let you know what I KNOW FOR CERTAIN. #BlackOwnedMediaMatters
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) July 1, 2021
This follows a series of worrying updates to Markie’s health over the past year. Last July, it was reported he’d spent several weeks in hospital receiving treatment for an illness triggered due to complications from his type 2 diabetes.
In December of 2020, it was reported Markie had suffered a stroke while he was in hospital recovering from another incident spurred by his diabetes. HipHopDX reported, via an unnamed source, that Markie was “not doing great, but it’s not as scandalous as it felt in the beginning”.
In April, Big Daddy Kane – a fellow member of Markie’s group Juice Crew – told hosts of The Breakfast Club that Markie’s health had been improving.
Kane said on the show: “He’s getting better and stronger every day. Last time I talked to him on the phone, he got a real light voice, but last time I talked on the phone he stuck his middle finger up at me so I think he’s coming along.”
Markie had previously lost 140 pounds worth of weight in an effort to manage his diabetes.
“If I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse,” he explained in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “[Doctors] said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”